How did I begin this journey?
2 years ago, I had an amazing life changing opportunity to live in a country where health and well being is second only to religion.
I saw men and women above the age of 70, living their life as if they were just birthed anew. A lot of my opinion about myself changed while living here.
I am speaking of none other than the Land of the Rising Sun – Japan! Konnichiwa!!
So, what can I possibly say about this beautiful country? The people, the culture and traditions and food – all in one word. Blessing!
I will speak about Japan in more detail in my Travel very soon. Today, it’s about their healthy lifestyle that convinced me to follow them.
First of all, the food in Japan is delicious. Due to it’s complex simplicity – I am not talking about Sushi, guys! That’s ART and SKILL! I’m talking everyday food that they eat. Home cooked meals. Lots of vegetables. Lots of fish and the wonder of wonderful Miso soup!
Now, being born and brought up in Malaysia, if there was one thing that I really missed the most, are the varieties of green vegetables that you cannot easily get in the UK.
I was lucky enough to stay at the Somerset Apartment in Tokyo ( located in front of the Tokyo Tower) my neighbour was Maruetsu, a supermarket. This was very exciting to me. Because I love food and love cooking. I saw myself at Maruetsu atleast 3 times a week! My favourite aisle – you guessed right – the last section, lots and lots of vegetables especially the GREEN kind, both fresh and fermented. I went mad on it! Each day was a luxury for me. I was swimming in green!
Every meal consisted of atleast 2 varieties of vegetables, kimchi, miso and a serving of fish or meat accompanied with rice. Still there was more goodness on the plate because of its fresh ingredients and it was home cooked. I soon found myself adapting really well cooking Japanese dinners – no, not Sushi or Tempura. In fact, I ate Sushi once at Ropponggi with my friends and Tempura twice, in Tokyo and Kyoto in all that 5 months I was in Japan! That’s how much home cooking I did all along the stay, which I am very proud to admit.
I enjoyed eating healthy and fell in love with the idea of my health healing. I fell in love with me.
That’s when it mused me. How much of goodness I’ve deprived myself over the years by allowing the western culture to take over my vibrant eastern culture. I am not saying western food is bad. But cream, butter, deep fried and cream and butter and deep fried.. you see where I’m going with this? Haha – Yes!!
So, I decided it was time I went back to my roots. I found my ground and this time I was going to grow, stronger and healthier. I wanted to be vibrant and colourful too, just like the food I was abundantly offered in Japan.
I ditched my poor eating habits and switched to focussing on my health. I was going to bring spice back into my life. Herb pots made its way into the kitchen.
I realised the food that are so yummy and delicious can also be healthy. I’m not saying that I ate takeaways 7 days and stuffed my face with chocolates and ice-creams before this journey began. I cooked my meals everyday and night. Yet, I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t being as active as I used to be. I allowed myself to believe that I can eat anything, any amount and so what if I’ve gained weight. It’s my body and I can do as I please. Then, it was time to change.
It was time to change that mentality. It was time I changed and renewed myself.
And as I get older, my body’s metabolism also slowed down. I was constantly reminded that I was getting older. That was depressing. It didn’t have to be that way, we can’t stop time. Because in Japan, the oldest woman who lived was a 117 years and 27 days old and I am not even half of that!
Misao Okawa was a great example of how we can always change the way we age and enable time to be in our favour. Simply by leading a healthier lifestyle – simply by LIVING!
That was the day I discovered myself- my EPIPHANY, if you would call it that.
I’ve not given myself 2 years or 5 years from now to achieve a certain goal. Because this journey is for the rest of my life.
A complete lifestyle change was in order. I still enjoy the occassional social events and have fun. But, I never give up on my journey to health. I never forget why I started at the first place.
I lost my first 4kgs in Japan!
I came back to the UK a new person. I was confident that I will make this change permanent and I was going to follow through. I gave myself a few months to continue my Japanese adaptation of living, here in the UK.
I got a membership at my local gym. And witnessed the loss of a whopping 22kg of weight in total ( a gradual progress no doubt), the first year of hiring a personal trainer.
I have regained my strength. People say I look different – supposed to. All that hard work and dedication will show when you put your mind to it. Yes? YES! It does and it will.
Most importantly was how I felt on the inside not just by appearance that made me. I got my MOJO back! I am happier, I am stronger, I am fitter and healthier. I rid off the negative thoughts and negative people from my circle and life.
I focussed on my dream of becoming an Author.
I started to build better relationships with family and friends who were there for me, at all times, mostly bad times.
I enjoy talking about my weighloss journey instead of shying away from it.
Take yourself less seriously and you will succeed in everything that you work hard. I laughed at myself when I can’t skip on the rope – still can’t but I laugh because I can! I smile when I finish 2 virtual spinning classes in a go because I could’nt manage a 10 minutes bike workout before!
That is how I measured my progress. The confidence that I can now see myself in the mirror – naked. Yes, NAKED. And smile. Because I am in love with that body! That body is mine. I worked hard to see that change and I’ve put it through a lot of beating. In return, my body is showing its love to me.
All it took was the 5 months in Japan which changed my entire perspective of life and living. I never believed I could make living a healthy life a reality. Now, nothing is impossible. I have proved it to myself that I was my hardest obstacle and now I am my wisest strength.
Waking up to a new me everyday, realising that this is also part of my ambition keeps me going. I haven’t looked back since!
Arigatou Gozaimasu, Japan! I’m forever humbled and grounded to you!
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